Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Revenge of the Practical Stylists!

Back in the day, Practical Stylists seemed like a sure bet to grab, at the minimum, a mid-indie label deal and thus get their fair share of nationwide fame. A second wave power-pop band, they fit right in with other like-minded '80s arbiters of cool like the dBs, Matthew Sweet and homeboy Bill Lloyd (who would later become a PS member). For one reason or another, the band never took that big next step ... it certainly wasn't for lack of talent, however, or good songs, 'cause Practical Stylists had both in spades, as well as a decent stage presence. They have remained one of Nashville's closely held, dirty little musical secrets for over two decades now.

Thanks to the good folks at Nashville's Spat! Records, the very first Practical Stylists' album has just been released. A compilation of studio material and live tracks, Post_script is a great document of one of Nashville's truly underrated bands. The original band line-up was Scott Sullivant on vocals and bass, David Russell on vocals and guitar, and Jim Hodgkins on drums. Bill Lloyd would later join PS when David Russell went to school, and later they expanded to a foursome with the addition of John Jackson. It's this original trio that many Nashville club-goers will remember, though, and that is represented by the material on the Post_script CD.

Practical Stylists had a rich power-pop sound with great vocal harmonies and whipsmart songwriting. Although they played everywhere in the area, both as headliners and opening for a veritable who's who of local bands, Practical Stylists' achievements were often overshadowed by better-known bands of the era like Jason & the Nashville Scorchers, Walk The West and the White Animals.

Post_script will be available in physical CD form from the Spat! Records website and, at some point in the future, from Amazon.com, and will be available for downloading from both Amazon and iTunes. In the meantime, the band's manager Allen Sullivant – the keeper of the flame at his Nashville 80's Rock Archive website (where you can sample Practical Sylists music) – has provided the Reverend with the skinny on the new album, including the track info and liner notes that we provide below (thanks Allen!). I'd highly recommend that anybody that loves timeless pop-rock music check out Practical Stylists ... after all, it's never too late to discover great music!

Post_script track listing:

In the Studio:
1. Swing Your Arms Around
2. Ralph
3. My Bed
4. General Beat
5. She's Got Lots
6. Terry's Voice
7. In My Dream
8. Rights

Live & Loud:
9. R. A. Wilson
10. All Around Us
11. You Never Call
12. Some Fun
13. Crowded Room
14. Shake Some Action
15. E=Mc2
16. Know What I Know
17. 800 Number

This & That:

(1) and (2) - 8~track recordings from October, 1982 produced and engineered by Andy Byrd. Originally released together in February, 1983 as a cassette single. "Swing Your Arms Around" also appeared on a compilation of progressive music issued by WREK-FM in Atlanta the same year. Piano on "Ralph" by Andy Byrd. Lead Vocals: Scott

(3) and (4) - Recorded to 24 track in June, 1983 at Studio 19, Skip Shimmin, recording engineer. Produced by "Ralph". Originally released together on 7" 45rpm vinyl in September of 1983, "General Beat" became the biggest selling single that month at Nashville branches of Cat's Records. Lead Vocals: Scott

(5) Another 24~track recording from September, 1983, also recorded at Studio 19 and engineered by Skip Shimmin. Produced by Scott Sullivant. Released only on WRVU's Nashville "New Rock" compilation cassette,"Local Heroes". Lead Vocal: Scott

(6), (7) and (8) - Recorded in May, 1989 on an Akai 12-track digital console. Produced and engineered by Andy Byrd. Previously unreleased. Lead Vocals: David

(9) through (17) - All recorded on various dates in 1983 at Cantrell's in Nashville. Jeff Levy, sound engineer. All live tracks are of the "house mix", recorded directly off the sound board to cassette without any additional re-mixing, overdubs, or other embellishments. If you were there, this is what you heard.

Practical Stylists are:

Scott Sullivant - Bass and Vocals
David Russell - Guitar and Vocals
Jim Hodgkins - Drums and such

All songs written by Scott Sullivant, David Russell, and Jim Hodgkins except (13) written by Colin Moulding and (14) written by Cyril Jordan and Chris Wilson.

Original songs and all recordings copyright 1982 - 1989 by White Triangle Music, BMI. This compilation copyright 2008 by White Triangle Music, BMI. Manufactured and distributed by Spat! Records. Thanks, AJ!

All songs were recovered from the original analog (tape) masters and transferred to digital format. Front and back cover concept and design by Alexa Sullivant. Original photography by Bill Kalinowski and Adonia Fuller. Original logo designed by Bill Mullins.



Blogger Lyn Nuttall said...

I love this band, which I stumbled on at MySpace, and I bought Post_script. Good to see someone enthusing about them. I was gonna write a blog about them but I reckon you've just about covered it.

6:19 AM  

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